Nigerian ministers under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government who are seeking for financial request of N20 million per annum to settle their accommodation problem, met the shock of their lives earlier today at the presidential villa, Abuja.
According to an exclusive report on The Signal, President Buhari reportedly walked out on his ministers during a Federal Executive Council meeting at presidential villa.
It was gathered that the ministers led by Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youth and Sports, had sought the audience of the president for financial request of N20 million per annum to settle their accommodation problem, but mid-way into the meeting, President Buhari reportedly stood up and ‘excused himself’ leaving the ministers dejected and hopeless.
President Buhari rejected the request by the ministers “because his hands are tied by the Remuneration Act, even though he empathises with their situation. They were asking for N20 million per annum for their accommodation. But prior to last week’s meeting, several other options had been proposed, including buying an estate or the FCDA (Federal Capital Development Authority) building one, but these were considered expensive and dropped. The final option was the request for N20 million per annum, because some ministers are squatting in Abuja and the situation is impacting on their jobs,” Signal reported.
While quoting a source who was present during the meeting, the report said, “The ministers have been facing serious challenges with accommodation and they put their heads together to go and see the President hoping that they could persuade him to do something.
“Dalung was the spokesperson of the ministers; Communication Minister Adebayo Shittu was also at the meeting. Where the problem started was when Dalung started making reference to how ministers got a nice accommodation package under previous governments. He actually said that under Jonathan ministers were given N20 million each for accommodation.
“When he said that, Buhari asked if he mean N20 million for all the ministers and Dalung replied that it was N20 million per person. It was at this point that Buhari stood up and said he was taking his leave and leaving Osinbajo to ‘sort it out’ with them,” an unnamed source was quoted.
It was reported that the ministers have been complaining about the meager N4 million approved by Buhari for their accommodation. The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu was only recently able to get an accommodation in Abuja after his state governor, Abiola Ajimobi graciously helped him with an extra N2 million, a source who did not want to be named told the publication.
On his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung recently secured a low-key accommodation at Gwarinpa district of Abuja where he now resides.
However, not all ministers are groaning under the accommodation challenge, as a few of them are believed to be wealthy enough to afford any type of accommodation anywhere in the world.
Conspicuously absent at the meeting with Buhari were the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi. The ministers are ex-governors and super ministers in Buhari’s cabinet